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Inhabitat's Week In Green: 3D printed veins, solar cell towers, and the Ingocar

Inhabitat
March 29, 2010
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At Inhabitat we've seen 3D printers that create entire buildings out of stone and complete meals out of simple ingredients, but this week we watched in awe as scientists used a 3D printer to create the world's first "printed" human vein. And if advances in biotech get your blood flowing, you'll be excited to hear that this week a team of researchers successfully tested a new type of nanobot that travels through the bloodstream to turn off tumor cells. Contact lenses are also getting a much needed upgrade as scientists unveiled a new type capable of fighting glaucoma and other diseases by dispensing a powerful dose of medication.

In other news, solar energy is lighting up the world at large as India gears up to power all of its cellphone towers with photovoltaic cells, saving 5 million tons of CO2 and $1.4 billion annually. And speaking of silicon cells, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently unveiled its latest creation: a super robot capable of assembling an entire photovoltaic cell in 35 minutes flat. We also looked at a prototype of a prismatic solar balloon that uses a colorful new type of solar cell to soak up the sun's energy from high in the sky.

Finally, this week we took an in-depth look at the Ingocar, a hydraulic hybrid drive vehicle so light and efficient that it promises a mileage of 170MPG. This next-gen vehicle uses hydraulic fluid under pressure to accelerate, brake, and eliminate the need for a heavy mechanical drive train, making it 50% lighter than hybrid electric vehicles. And if you've ever experienced the maddening anxiety of circling for a parking spot on crammed city streets, relax - there's an app for that!





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